Q-CTRL and US Geological Survey in Quantum Partnership  

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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16, 2024 — Quantum software company Q-CTRL announced it has entered a partnership with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to explore potential quantum computing and sensing applications for geological sciences.
USGS is a scientific agency that researches Earth systems. Its mission is to make scientific data available to help people understand Earth, prepare for natural disasters, and manage the nation’s natural resources.
The collaboration is established under a formal Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), which marks the beginning of a transformative era in the application of quantum technologies to key challenges in geophysics and environmental sensing.
Q-CTRL’s focus on quantum control engineering is essential to making quantum technologies useful for real applications including delivery of quantum computers capable of solving high-impact problems in logistics and data analysis and deploying quantum sensors in the field to extract previously unattainable insights. The company’s special ability to address critical challenges in both quantum computing and quantum sensing through its globally unique technology opens totally new applications to advance USGS missions.
“Q-CTRL is excited to deliver a new generation of quantum technologies to an agency as essential as the USGS,” said Q-CTRL CEO and Founder Michael J. Biercuk. “The missions undertaken by USGS are critical to our economy and the resilience of our society now and in the future. We are thrilled to be delivering transformational new capabilities with this important partner, and truly pushing the limits of human capabilities.”
Looking toward a future where quantum technology is seamlessly integrated into environmental science and geophysics, this collaboration is a foundational step toward developing practical applications for a broad range of national and global challenges. These include critical areas such as underground water resource management, polar ice-sheet monitoring, natural-hazard preparedness, and the discovery and utilization of energy and mineral resources.
The partnership will utilize sophisticated quantum techniques, such as quantum gravimetry, quantum magnetometry, and quantum-enhanced logistics optimization in order to deliver previously impossible insights and solve previously intractable problems. The technology under exploration promises earlier detection of hazards, new ways to see through the earth to monitor sensitive water assets, and dramatic cost reduction in resources production. These carry both exceptional economic and strategic value in the presence of a changing climate.
In the spirit of collaborative innovation, Q-CTRL and the USGS will embark on workshops and field investigations to fully exploit quantum technologies’ capabilities. By integrating Q-CTRL’s groundbreaking quantum technology with USGS operations, the partners aim to set a new benchmark in geophysical exploration and environmental monitoring – both on Earth and beyond.
Jonathan Stock, Director of the USGS National Innovation Center (NIC) said, “The USGS geophysics and computational community is excited to be exploring quantum sensors and tools with industry. Combined with other enabling technologies, quantum sensors may dramatically improve the ability to detect and assess resources and hazards in the undiscovered country of planetary subsurfaces, on our own world and beyond. This is a frontier that will require public, private and international partners together to explore, and we are delighted to be exploring with Q-CTRL.”
Both Q-CTRL and the USGS uphold a strong commitment to ethical principles and responsible innovation. As this partnership progresses, all developments will be conducted with a steadfast dedication to scientific integrity and benefit for the global community.